Government

Summit Council Introduces $1,050,000 Ordinance to Resurface Ashwood and Springfield Avenues

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SUMMIT, NJ—A bond ordinance totaling $1,050,000, for the reconstruction and resurfacing of Ashwood Avenue from Baltusrol Road to Park Avenue and Springfield Avenue from Waldron Avenue to Morris Avenue, has been introduced by the Summit Common Council.

According to council finance chairman Michael McTernan, a portion of the project will be paid for by a $220,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The ordinance also includes a $40,000 appropriation as a down payment and $790,000 in bonds.

The public hearing and possible final adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for November 16. The council meeting for that week, normally held on Tuesday, was rescheduled due to a League of Municipalities conference on November 17.

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Also on the financing front the City, earlier in the day, announced that it held a sale of $14,865,600 in bond anticipation notes and $18,000,000 in temporary school notes. 

The short term notes were issued for the effective rate of 0.142% this year, besting the rate of 0.161% from last year, and will be used to fund various municipal and school projects.

McTernan said this enables the city to borrow at a much lower rate than many other entities. He also praised acting city treasurer Margaret Gerba for her efforts on the note sale and her work, along with that of other municipal employees, in helping keep the city’s bond rating at AAA for all three ratings agencies -- a better rating than even that of the federal government.

In a second ordinance introduced at the council meeting, the governing body established the positions of deputy director and public works manager in the department of community services.

The finance chairman noted the ordinance set salaries for two positions included in the recent reorganization of the community services department, which provides for a succession plan and gives employees a chance to advance while combining some roles and saving the city money.

In another action, the councilmen adopted an ordinance changing the time limit on parking meters on Union Place from two hours to 90 minutes.

Council general services chairman Patrick Hurley said the change promoted more consistency in meter timing, and was consistent with parking usage on Union Place, where there is a more rapid turnover of parking spaces.

McTernan said the change was part of an overall plan to make meter timing more consistent and it enabled those using the meters to have a better idea what they will be paying when they show up to park in certain areas.

The governing body also introduced a measure to prohibit parking on one side of the northerly section of Middle Avenue.

Council safety chairman Albert Dill, Jr. said the measure was needed because, with parking on both sides, it was difficult for vehicles, especially emergency vehicles, to make u-turns on the small street. He added the area affected is on the section of Middle Avenue adjacent to Morris-Essex Turnpike near Millburn.

On another matter, Second Ward Councilwoman Sandra Lizza announced that, in conjunction with the redesign of the city website, a three-question survey would be posted on the current city website for a week beginning on October 25 and those whose e-mails were registered with the city would receive a e-mail of the survey.

She added that Summit Downtown, Inc.’s monthly newsletter, available at summitdowntown.org, includes news of a Candlelight Stroll to be sponsored by SDI on December 4 and 5 and pending release of a new mobile app to promote downtown businesses.

LIzza also noted that the Summit Public Library is offering free conversion of various forms of media from VCR to DVD.

On another matter, resident Chris Cordaro of West End Avenue, noting that the Summit Free Market was completing fundraising for its new facility at the Summit Transfer Station and that the market had held two sessions, wanted to know when the councilmen would address concerns of residents in the area of the transfer station about free market traffic.

Council president Robert Rubino replied that the concerns would be referred to the council buildings and grounds committee for report back to council, probably next month, as a discussion, action and referral matter on a council meeting agenda.

Mayor Ellen Dickson said the free market’s sessions for the year ended with the second session and a traffic study was being done of the area.

Rubino also said notice of any pending actions on the matter would be on the city website and Councilman-at-Large Gregory Drummond would e-mail Cordaro of pending actions since the West End Avenue resident had “taken the lead” on the matter.

On another matter, the governing body voted to add a fulltime deputy registrar in the health department to replace two part-time registrars.

McTernan said the change was made necessary due to the high volume of birth and death certificates processed in the department due to the location of Overlook Hospital in the city.

The mayor also announced that the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad was named the best squad in the state and former Summit High School principal Don Geddes had been inducted into the Union County High School Hall of Fame.

Commemorated at the beginning of the council session were the local Daughters of the American Revolution’s recent replacement of a plaque at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum to honor Summit’s role as the site of the Beacon Fire used to warn Revolutionary War troops stationed in Morristown of the presence of British troops.

In the second part of a rare “Summit Historical Minute,” Summit High School student Gabrielle Friedman related how Summit’s famous railroad was not part of the Summit and Essex Railroad when the line was established in 1835, but became so thanks to an offer of a right-of-way by the owner of the line to Summit in 1837.

She noted a train line from Summit into New York City did not come into existence until 1900.

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